French, Asian scientists cooperate in ICT

  • 5 June 2015, Friday

Source: The Philippine Star
4 Jun 2015

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – French ambassador Gilles Garachon expressed optimism that French and Asian scientists will have more opportunities to work together  particularly on information and communication technology (ICT) relating to climate change.

“We hope to create and establish more linkages and partnerships to further develop the scientific cooperation between French and Asian scientists,” he said.

Garachon spoke at the ICT-Asia 2015 forum held May 25-26 at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) based in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) here.

The conference was organized by the French government through its embassy in Manila and Delegation for Regional Cooperation-ASEAN and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific based in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was hosted by SEARCA, UPLB, and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

ACT-Asia 2015 focused on four themes: climate change modeling and monitoring; disaster risk reduction; ICT applications to food security, and urban and rural informatics.

ACT-Asia is a French initiative directed to strengthen, on the basis of mutual benefits, high-level scientific cooperation with and among Asian countries in the field of information and communication technologies.

Since the program began in 2004, nine ICT-Asia Calls for Projects have been launched. These helped fund 52 projects involving 305 researchers (35 percent from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN, 34 percent French, 9.3 percent Japanese, and 6.75 percent Chinese for the most represented areas). Except for France, Switzerland is the only non-Asian country that has participated in the projects.

Garachon said ACT-Asia 2015 focused largely on the issue of climate change and the actions that could be taken to better fight it. 

“The regional cooperation ICT program is also a strong example and inspiration for others to find solutions against climate change,” said the French ambassador whose country will host the 21st Conference of Parties of the United Nations in December. The conference aims to achieve a universal climate change agreement.

“It will address the challenges of climate change that will enable us to contain global warming within the limit of 2 degrees Celsius and to foster low-carbon development,” he said.

In his address, SEARCA Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. thanked the French government for tapping his center in co-organizing ACT-Asia 2015 for the first time in the Philippines. Around 80 participants came from France and 19 Asian countries.

“We understand that the previous nine ICT Asia conferences have proven to be prolific in generating collaborative research undertakings between Asian and French researchers. We are happy to facilitate the engagement of more Philippine and Southeast Asian researchers in your commendable program,” Saguiguit said.